Censored : the rise and fall of the production code

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Lawlor, Tim
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BA (Hons) in Film Studies
Dublin Business School
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On 1 November 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America formally ended the thirty-four year Motion Picture Production Code, and, with a tentative consensus behind it, inaugurated the new MPAA rating system, in which the United States became the last major Western nation to have some sort of systematic age classification of motion pictures. Even at the risk of reducing their audiences, the boundaries of possible expression and content within Hollywood film were lifted substantially. The intention of this dissertation is to trace the history of the Production Code and to account for its eventual decline and demise. In order to achieve this, the dissertation will firstly examine the period of American cinema in the first half of the 1930s, before the implementation of the Code. I feel this is necessary in order to understand the perceived need for the Code, not only to be implemented but also rigidly enforced. Author keywords: Censorship, motion picture production code